- Ian Begley, ESPN New York Writer
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The Knicks are one win away from clinching their first division title since 1994.
But head coach Mike Woodson is eyeing a bigger prize: the NBA title.
In his weekly spot on ESPN New York 98.7 FM, Woodson said his Knicks are playing with a desperate air as the playoffs approach.
"It's desperate times for our team to win, and win now, and there's nothing wrong with that because that's how it should be. You don't get in this thing (and) not try to win a title ... . We're in desperate times right now to try to win an NBA title, absolutely," Woodson said Monday on ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Make no mistake: there's still a juggernaut in Miami that's a clear cut favorite to repeat as NBA champs. And the Knicks will likely have to go through the Heat if they want to snap their 40-year title drought.
But the team's championship hopes seem a bit more realistic after Sunday's win over the Thunder.
The victory gave the Knicks 50 wins for the first time since 1999-2000. It was also their 12th straight win, the third-longest winning streak in franchise history.
And it came against a team that was 33-5 at home entering the game.
Woodson put all of the Knicks' recent accomplishments in perspective during his weekly radio spot on "The Stephen A. Smith and Ryan Ruocco Show" on Monday afternoon.
"Getting 50 wins is special," said Woodson, who is 68-32 in his first 100 regular-season games. "But I'm looking at the big picture. It's all great. We can accomplish winning our division and securing that second spot. Then the next step is winning the title. I'm only in it for that and only that."
Woodson first stated at the end of last season that the Knicks' goal was to win the division. "Now here it is right here in front of us, staring us in the face to go get it. We got to go get it," he said.
A division title guarantees that the Knicks will have home-court in the first round of the playoffs, something they haven't had in the last two seasons.
Incidentally, they've won just one playoff game over the last two years, at home against the Heat.
The division is now well within reach. The Knicks need one win or one Nets loss to clinch. Then they will turn their attention to the No. 2 seed in the East.
New York enters play Tuesday 2 1/2 games ahead of Indiana for second place in the conference. A second-place finish guarantees the Knicks home-court advantage through two rounds of the playoffs.
"All of those things are right within our reach and I’m pushing our guys from an urgency standpoint to go get it. So that’s what it’s about," Woodson said.
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The Knicks are one win away from clinching their first division title since 1994. But head coach Mike Woodson is eyeing a bigger prize: the NBA title.